Policy Article

Transition of a Model Country into a Bulwark? Brexit and Labour Migration in the United Kingdom (original in German)


  • Schrader
  • K.
Publication Date

In the course of the EU Eastern Enlargement the United Kingdom was one of the few EU-15 countries which from the beginning took advantage of the opportunities provided by the freedom of movement for workers. Since then the United Kingdom is prospering and still relies heavily on migrant workers. As the empirical analysis shows labor migration from the accession countries was not a determining factor in favor of the Brexit vote. It was rather a fear of loss by the less educated voters who regard the EU’s deepening and widening as a threat to their social status and their national identity. As a consequence, a policy discussion on an EU of different speeds appears to be advisable.

Kiel Institute Expert


Key Words

  • Brexit
  • Free Movement of Workers
  • Immigration